I used to be invincible. Or damn close to it. I don’t know what’s happen; I used to be so much tougher when I was younger. Sick? No such thing. Colds, flus, even a bacterial infection or two – I’d still go to school, come home and do my homework (even when that meant staying up till 4 a.m.), probably even go to practice for whatever sport I was in at that point. My “sick days” were virtually nonexistent. I basically had to be puking my stomach out in order to stay home, or even tell my mother that it might be a good idea for me to go to the doctor. No, I powered through sickness, kept working, didn’t back down or slow down.
But what’s happened now? I’ve spent the last week in bed, completely knocked out from some unidentifiable virus. Thing isn’t even significant enough to have a name and yet I’ve been completely out of commission. Couldn’t study for my finals, couldn’t go to class, couldn’t go to work… hell, I was happy if I could sit up without the world spinning. But I feel like if I had gotten the same thing when I was little, I would have just brushed it off. Yeah, I probably would have been best friends with a tissue box for a few days, but I feel like I would have been able to get through it. And I’m criticizing myself for that. For not being strong enough. For being so weak – or at least what I perceive as weak. For me, that is. If anybody were going through what I’ve been (and half my house at college is), I’d see it as completely reasonable for them to hole up in bed and hide from the world for a week or two. But not for me. Because I feel like I know that I could do better. That I could get through this. That I could have just powered through and gotten everything done and just not been so damn sick!
I was an insane kid growing up. I’m not a huge fan of running. Ellipticals are beautiful inventions. But flat-out running… I’ve had an up-and-down relationship with the sport. But I remember being in middle school and forcing myself to go running – in jeans and flip-flops and 100-degree weather, no less. And I did it. Because it’s just what I had to do. I carried such an inner compulsion that there simply wasn’t a question. Sure, that compulsion was coming from my eating disorder… but still, that kind of will power is deathly attractive to me. To know that I once had it… I hate myself for not being that hard on myself now. For letting myself be bothered by things I would have taken in stride as a kid. For not pushing myself harder. And I know that’s my disorder talking, but there is still some true, me-based indignation there at core. Because I’m pretty sure that before I even had a disorder, I – me, myself and I – I was the one telling myself those words. Be better.
I feel like some kind of decrepit has-been. Because I know that before everything crumbled – I was invincible.